It’s the time of the year when Super League is awash with rumours of player moves for 2019 and the main one doing the rounds is Sam Tomkins to Catalans.
A done deal we are led to believe, admittedly nothing has come from Wigan or Tomkins himself but the Dragons have admitted interest.
It all seems familiar, we had all this with rumours he was going to New Zealand Warriors in 2013.
Now the rights and wrongs of the deal are for another day, I for one am baffled why he’d want to make a step which is semi retirement at this stage of his career, but what does this tell us about the structure of our competition for next year.
As yet all is unclear, whether we keep the status quo, go to 14 teams, bring back licensing?
Cynics think the RFL are waiting to see which club ends up in the bottom 4, whatever the reason we don’t know.
We do assume though that the decision has been made, and at this stage Catalans look destined for Relegation.
They already seem certain to be in the middle 8 and with Toronto getting stronger by the day and even the likes of Leigh improving you’d worry for the Dragons in a million pound game. In my eyes they have Relegation written all over them.
Now Sam Tomkins isn’t going there to play in the Championship and I’m certain 2nd tier revenue wouldn’t be enough to finance his wages so do Catalans know that they are certain to be in Super League next year? In other words is this an indication that we are to return to licensing next year, with maybe 14 Super League clubs.
It would be October before Catalans know their fate in the middle 8 and by then with Wigan likely to sign Zak Hardaker, there’ll be no place for Tomkins to go back to if the Dragons are relegated. We also hear rumours that Tomkins marquee wages are going elsewhere in the Warriors squad to put off interest from the NRL.
October would also surely be too late for him to sort out a marquee deal at another club?
So does this mean the Dragons have been given a guarantee of their Super League status for 2019? I know licensing is controversial, but I am reluctantly in favour of it for this very reason, it gives clubs the opportunity to plan ahead.
I understand the cons, we were brought up on Promotion and Relegation and it’s very unfair on the lower league clubs, but we have to get the game right at the top which puts me in favour, with reservations.
It’s ridiculous we don’t know what’s happening next year, but I just wonder if the Dragons interest in Tomkins has given us a clue?